The DC Office of Human Rights held its first Language Access Policy Forum on Wednesday, July 15, 2009, in celebration of the 5th year anniversary of the passage of the DC Language Access Act of 2004. The forum brought together government practitioners, analysts, and community and legal service providers from the Washington Metropolitan Area to discuss the implementation of successful “language access” programs and practices to better serve our limited and non-English proficient (LEP/NEP) constituent populations. The forum, located at the True Reformer Building in Washington, DC, ran from 9 am to 4 pm and was well received. It was attended by over 250 participants (exceeding capacity).
The agenda included welcoming remarks by Gustavo Velasquez, opening remarks by Victor Reinoso, Deputy Mayor for Education, and three panels with distinguished speakers, including Directors from the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, African Affairs and Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. During the Forum participants were encouraged to identify the top five priorities for advancing the Language Access Program. The priorities were tallied and ranked and a report out was provided at the closing of the Forum. The event was covered by NPR, El Zol radio, Telemundo and Channel 16.
The 2009 Forum served as the kick-off for the "2009 Language Access - Know Your Rights campaign".
To view information from the Forum including powerpoint presentations, the top five priorities and pictures, select here.